Monday, December 21, 2020

Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Mary was no navel gazer!! Indeed, after her encounter with the angel Gabriel, who came to tell her of God’s plan to enter into our history, she surrendered to become the mother of this human- divine baby. How could she possibly understand how she would be a mother, conceive a child, without Joseph or a human father? Put yourself in her shoes.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, overshadow you, hence the offspring will be called Son of God.” What do these words mean? What’s the plan? These are just some of the questions that had to be swirling around in Mary’s mind and heart. And yet she said YES to the uncertain plan with few details. Could any one of us do the same?

This “plan” of God’s would be far from comfortable or easy. We know the “rest of the story,” and the suffering Mary would experience. Her Son’s gradual rejection, ostracization, torture, mocking, crucifixion, public shame, death. The birth of this newborn child foretold, or foreshadowed, all these painful realities. The child’s life would become a sacrifice of love, in which He would freely enter the dreaded space of death, and destroy its power over us forever!!! Redemption. Restoration. Transformation.

After her “encounter” with Gabriel, she didn’t just sit back and fret over the words, turning them over and over again in her head. She didn’t turn in on herself, which goes against the gospel her Son would eventually proclaim. She began living the Good News, then and there, by doing something about being the Mother of this life changing, world changing human/divine being. Mary got up, “rolled up her sleeves “ and made the long journey to her cousin Elizabeth, preparing to give birth to another child of anticipation.

Mary “visited” Elizabeth. When Mary finally encountered Elizabeth after that long journey, Elizabeth cried out in joy Mary’s “blessedness” of all women. The plan was beginning to take shape in Elizabeth’s words and in her child “leaping” in her womb. John was already beginning to “prepare the way of the Lord” within the womb of Elizabeth, as a yet to be born fetus!!!!

The Visitation only allowed the “plan” to be given more shape and definition. This was not going to be any ordinary plan.

Fr. Frank